I snagged the title for this blog from oldwestnewwest.com a great site for all things about western writers.
The reason I did, is because I keep hearing that same ole thing, just like many other western writers do, “Too bad Louis L’Amour’s gone. Nobody writes Westerns any more.”
However, we are writing westerns, many of us in fact. a small list of authors like W.R. Benton, Steven Law, Peter Brandvold, and Howard Hopkins come to mind, even myself.
The idea for this blog post came to me in a comment made on my Facebook wall, and I say this with all respect, and I quote “Unless you change it to Louis L’Amour no one will know who the new one is anyway.” which was in reference to a question, I asked about using a pen name for my western novels. This statement got me thinking, yes we all know Louis L’Amour, and at this point in my life not many have heard of me as an Author at this point,under my birth name or any pen name, but wasn’t there a time in 1951 that the public had not yet heard of Louis L’Amour and “Westward The Tide?” So it would stand to reason why people haven’t heard of me or will not know who I am when Laramie’s Thunder is first published either, I actually expect that at first, however with the several stories I have laid out to follow my first western, hopefully I will draw in some good readers, and prove that I am a western writer of the old frontier. I already know, I am not Louis, and I am certainly not Zane Grey either, but if you mix the two together, well in a simple kind of way you will be able to say that I can write among them as a western writer and author.
You see it started for me long ago, the first time I felt a that wild west wind blow through me, I was just 15 and was beginning a chapter in my life that later I would pursue as my adventures across the country. Rodeo season had begun, and a friend asked if I wanted to try to ride a bull, it sounded great so I had to give it a try, what I didn’t realize was that after I got up off the ground, tasting the arena dirt for the first time, and dusting off my wrangler jeans I looked out into the crowd, and I saw the great unknown, the desert sands under pounding hooves chasing after a band of outlaws, with a six-shooter and a horse as fast as you could see. At first I knew it was only my imagination running wild, but as time went on, I learned many things about myself, not only was I a modern-day cowboy, but something else entirely. The love of the old west always left me to wonder what could have been, why wasn’t I born a hundred years ago, and where do these visions keep coming from. It was simple I needed to tell these stories, write them down, and explore across the great divide, see as a writer, I live the story as my readers are reading it, and with each description, I show what I have dreamed about for the last decade, and show you from the beginning what I saw that one summer night as I looked out into the cheering audience.
So I hope that no matter what name I choose, you will see the west as I do, and see that western writing is here to stay. It is a part of our history whether it is fiction, or non-fiction, the western genre tells the story of what it was like, to live in a time where there were few rules, an open range and a six-shooter was judge and jury.